JULIAN OF NORWICH, HER SHOWING OF LOVE AND ITS CONTEXTS 1997-2010 JULIA BOLTON HOLLOWAY  || JULIAN OF NORWICH  || SHOWING OF LOVE || HER TEXTS || HER SELF || ABOUT HER TEXTS || BEFORE JULIAN || HER CONTEMPORARIES || AFTER JULIAN || JULIAN IN OUR TIME ||  ST BIRGITTA OF SWEDEN  ||  BIBLE AND WOMEN || EQUALLY IN GOD'S IMAGE  || MIRROR OF SAINTS || BENEDICTINISM|| THE CLOISTER || ITS SCRIPTORIUM  || AMHERST MANUSCRIPT || PRAYER|| CATALOGUE AND PORTFOLIO (HANDCRAFTS, BOOKS ) || BOOK REVIEWS || BIBLIOGRAPHY ||
 

A JULIAN MANUSCRIPT IN NORWICH CASTLE?
 

Norwich Castle Museum, 'A Pistle of Sent Jerom'
 
 

or centuries, the life of perfection, of contemplation, has been quested by women as well as men. From Early Christianity into the Middle Ages, and even into the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, with St John of the Cross, O.Carm., and Fathers Augustine Baker and Serenus Cressy, O.S.B., men have worked with women, supporting their lives of prayer, silence, and writing. This material is not bound by time or space but can speak to our condition today as well as to a Desert Mother, or Holy Paula, or Mother Julian, or Saint Teresa or Mother Teresa. Indeed these women not only prayed and read and worked in their cells and anchorholds; they wrote. We learn of Anglo-Saxon nuns writing fine Bibles in letters of gold upon purple vellum for St Lioba's beloved St Boniface. We find a manuscript in Julian's Norwich similarly using gold and purple upon its pages. The apostolate of the scribe these women practised invites us to follow in their footsteps, to leave in our cells that others may find them, books written with love, containing the wisdom quested within, where God dwells.

The manuscript in Norwich Castle exhibits features related to those found in some of the manuscripts containing Julian of Norwich's Showing of Love and similar works. It is Norwich Castle 158.926/4g.5. It has iii + 89 folios, measuring 190 x 130 millimetres, the text area being 142 x 90 millimetres, in 27 lines to the page. It has some illuminated capitals in gold leaf upon a purple background, as above, which interestingly replicate those St Lioba's St Boniface describes as made by English nuns in England and in Germany in the Anglo-Saxon period, likely under the Abbess Hilda's influence. Its rulings are similar to those in the Westminster and Paris manuscripts, though beyond the opening pages these are uninked, merely scored. It uses rubricated paragraph signs, as in the Paris Manuscript. It is bound in its original boards, though the clasps are now lost. Neil Ker dates it as written at the beginning of the fifteenth century. It contains Theological Treatises, specifically 'An Epistle of St Jerome [actually Pelagius] to the Maid Demetriade who had vowed Chastity', a 'Treatise on the Seven Deadly Sins', fols. 31-58v, a 'Treatise on the Pater Noster', 'Pore Caitif', fol. 58. Richard Copsey, O.Carm. notes that the Treatise on the Seven Deadly Sins', is one written by Richard Lavenham, O.Carm., who lectured on Birgitta's Revelationes at Oxford and who was Richard II's confessor. It uses similar dialect forms as are found especially in the Sloane Manuscripts chapter headings to the Julian Showing of Love, for instance, 'arn' for 'be', and throughout employs a similar vocabulary of ideas as that employed by Julian, 'behouely', 'byddyngs and forbyddyngs', 'woo', 'travail', 'sekir'. It uses Middle English letters, ff for capital F, and thorns, yoghs and longtailed median s's. The rubricated paragraph signs are here given as ||P.

The Norwich Castle Manuscript comprises texts written in Middle English for a woman vowed as an anchoress or other form of perfect living. It is of great interest for its parallels to Julian's Showing of Love, Adam Easton's writings and the Cloud Author's writings, and that it is in situ in Norwich. It exhibits a knowledge of Hebrew and a reverence for St Cecilia. Master, later Cardinal, Adam Easton, a Benedictine from Norwich, taught Hebrew at Oxford University, preached in Norwich, owned the writings of Rabbi David Kimhi and Pseudo-Dionysius, and his titular church in Rome was St Cecilia in Trastavere where he came to be buried in a magnificent tomb. He defended the visionary Revelationes of St Birgitta of Sweden and oversaw her canonization. He was noted to have written now-lost spiritual treatises in the vernacular, therefore for a woman, on the life of perfection. He also knew and worked with St Catherine of Siena, both defending Pope Urban VI, and he likely brought Catherine's Dialogo to England, a text which is echoed in Julian's Showing of Love and which came to be printed under Brigittine auspices as The Orcherd of Syon, Syon Abbey becoming the depository of the Julian manuscripts in the Tudor period. This text also makes use of Catherine of Siena's disciple William Flete's Remedies Against Temptations, a text much used also by Julian. Easton likewise knew Flete.

However, though the writer of the text may be influenced by Adam Easton, there is the strong possibility that its scribe is not Easton, but Julian herself. Its date of writing is after Easton's death, but still during Julian's lifetime. It stresses egalitarian theological concepts akin to those espoused by Wyclif's Lollards, rather than by Easton, concepts which Julian herself is still found to express in the Amherst 1413 version of her Showing of Love. The theological cast of its thought definitely aligns it with that of Julian of Norwich.

The transcription of the manuscript is in progress. Likewise its dialect analysis. The hard copy booklet which may be ordered from holloway.julia@tiscali.it. replicates the manuscript's layout and gives the manuscript's letters, thorns, yochs, and long-tailed s's, which here are approximated by their modern forms.

Fol. 1


  Norwich Castle (N)
 
Apistle of sent Jerom sent to a mayde demetri 
ade. that hadde uowed chastite to our lorde ihesu criste~
He first besyness 
and the firste studie of a mayden 
 oweth to be knowen the wille 
               of oure lorde and for to enquere 
besilie what pleseth hym and what displeceth
hym. So that after the biddynge of the apostle 
che myghte yelde hir seruice to ihesu criste 
quemeful and resonabili: and that alle th
wurse of hir leuynge myghte be ordeyned 

after the rewle of his wordes. It is impossible 
any man to plese hym that knoweth not what 
shulde plese hym. ffor it falleth often that he 
offendeth and greueth in maner of seruynge:
that hath not lerned how he oweth to serue. 
And thow3 it be more or better for to do 
goddes wille than only for to knowe it: 
neuertheles it is behovely first to knowe it 
and liuen for to fulfille it in dede. Knowynge 
god before dede as in ordre. ffor with oute 
knowynge dede it is not profitable. And 
therfore the prophete seith thus.He that 
knoweth not schal not be knowen. And
therfore be not vnconnynge. but be wise and 
understandeth what is goddes wille. The 
beginnynge of wisdome is for to knowe what 
is the biddynge of god for to do. In holy writte
Thenk on seint Cecile & doo as sche dede. for sche haar euere in herte in here brest woordis of the gospel. and of holy writ and neither nyght ne day sche stynted fro prayeris & fro god dis woordis



no man more bounden for to esschewe alle un                                                                
leefull thynges that is to seuye alle thynges that
is contrarie to the lawes of oure lorde. thanne

he that hath forsaken and made his auowe
to almy3ti god for to kepe hym chaste in bodi
and soule. as thow hast. |And ther fore dow3ter.
if thow wilt be the trewe spouse of Oure lorde
thenke her on. |ffor  ther is noman so straytely
bowndyn to fulfylle the comoun comandemen
tis of god as he is that for loue of perfeccoun
& for plesaunce of crist purposeth & auoueth for
to do more & better than is comaunded. |Therfore
he that wilfulli byndeth hym self to kepe
goddes counseil. |Wonder besy he oweth to be
mekil more to kepe goddis bydding. |ffor that
on is a dede of perfeccoun that only standeth in a
mannys frewil er than he byndeth him ther to
that other is nedful to be don. |Of chastite it is
wretin thus. |He that may take take. |But
of comoun rithwisnes is it not wretin thus [and]
counseylende he that may do good do. |But thus
it is said of oure lord Ich a tre that wich man[e]
that maketh no goode frute that is doth no
good dede. chal be hewyn doun & castin in the
fire. |Behold now good dou3ter what dif
ference is a twixen conseil & biddyng. that on
longeth to special persones. |That other comprehendith


Notes

1. Compare with Julian's Showing of Love, Paris Manuscript, fols. 121v-122 (henceforth cited as P121v, etc), on biddings and forbiddings.
2.Compare with Julian's Showing of Love on thirst, P29v, 33, 50, 55, 55v, 56, 72, 108, 136; and taste, P8; also her use of the word `behoveley', P50.
3. Compare with similar use in Cloud of Unknowing, EETS 218.97:4, here clearly used to a woman reader.
4. Compare with Julian's Showing of Love, Amherst Manuscript, fol. 97v (A97v).
5. Julian similarly begins her Showing of Love in its Long and Short Texts with three petitions, as if recalling this teaching.
6. Psalm 16.15 'Ego autem in justitia apparebo conspectui tuo: satiabor cum apparuerit gloria tua'.
7. Isaiah 66.23 'et sabbatum ex sabbato'. Hebrew knowledge, sabbath of sabbaths, Jubilee Year when slaves were freed, debts forgiven and the land lay fallow. Likely penned by Adam Easton who taught Hebrew at Oxford University, and who owned Rabbi David Kimhi's Miklol, 'Perfection'.
8. Luke 12.13 'Verumtamen quarite primum regnum dei, et justitiam ejus: et haec omnis adjicientur vobis'.
9. This 'Amen' section discusses the Hebrew meaning of the word; that in the Cambridge University Library Hh.I.12 Manuscript, with Sheen/Syon connections, at folios 8-8v, does not.
10. Malachi 1.10 'Numquid non pater unus omnium nostrum? numquid non Deus unus creavit nos? quare ergo despicit unusquisque nostrum fratrem suum, violans pactum patrum nostrorum', echoed in Matthew 23.9, Ephesians 4.6.
11. Matthew 23.8-9 'Vos autem nolite vocare Rabbi: Unus est enim Magister vester, omnes autem vos fratres estis, Et patrem nolite vocare vobis super terram: unus est enim Pater vester, qui in coelis est'.
12. James 1.6 'Postulet autem in fide nihil haesitans'.
13. Matthew 5.45.
14. James 1.17 'Omne datum optimum, et omne donum perfectum desursum est, descendens a Patre luminum, apud quem non est transmutatio, nec vicissitudinis odumbratio'.
15. Julian, Showing of Love, clear parallel, 'And his nobley. And his goodnes', P97. See also P13v, 134v.
16. Julian, Showing of Love, clear parallel, 'and now it plesith god we seke him besily' P23. See also P10,19v.
17. Malachi 1.6.
18. John 8.44.
19. Similar wording as in Deonise Hid Diuinite's prayer, Julian's Showing of Love, passim.
20. Exodus 20.7.
21. Leviticus 19.12.
22. Malachi 1.11-12, Isaiah 52.5.
23. John 10.16. Compare with Julian on Church unity.
 

JULIAN OF NORWICH, HER SHOWING OF LOVE AND ITS CONTEXTS 1997-2010 JULIA BOLTON HOLLOWAY  || JULIAN OF NORWICH  || SHOWING OF LOVE || HER TEXTS || HER SELF || ABOUT HER TEXTS || BEFORE JULIAN || HER CONTEMPORARIES || AFTER JULIAN || JULIAN IN OUR TIME ||  ST BIRGITTA OF SWEDEN  ||  BIBLE AND WOMEN || EQUALLY IN GOD'S IMAGE  || MIRROR OF SAINTS || BENEDICTINISM|| THE CLOISTER || ITS SCRIPTORIUM  || AMHERST MANUSCRIPT || PRAYER|| CATALOGUE AND PORTFOLIO (HANDCRAFTS, BOOKS ) || BOOK REVIEWS || BIBLIOGRAPHY ||